With their playoff hopes on life support, the New York Rangers are set to kick off a two game set with the Buffalo Sabres tonight at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts currently trail the Boston Bruins by six points for the fourth and final playoff spot in the MassMutual East Division, and the Bruins have two games in hand. While the Rangers finish the season with a pair of games in Boston and an opportunity to close that gap, those games won’t matter if the team fails to take care of business against Buffalo.
The Blueshirts have already taken nine points out of their previous six meetings with the Sabres, and their 4-1-1 record thus far means that they’ve already secured at least a split of the season series. A single point out of the next two games will give the Blueshirts the victory in the season series, but David Quinn’s squad will need to walk away with all four points they possibly can in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Player to Watch: Alexis Lafreniere
In spite of his underwhelming boxcar statistics, Lafreniere has flashed his talent throughout his rookie season. The 9-7-16 stat line he’s put out through 48 games may not be the strongest, but the forward’s utter lack of power play time has played a role in his relatively low point production. Lafreniere’s first career goal was an overtime winner against the Sabres back in January, so look for Lafreniere to be active once again tonight.
Enjoy the game!